Acta Herpetologica <div> <p><em>Acta Herpetologica</em>, a journal open to academics all over the world, offers itself as a new site for the presentation and discussion of the most recent results in the field of research on Amphibians and Reptiles, both living and extinct. The official journal of the&nbsp;<em>Societas Herpetologica Italica</em>&nbsp;(S.H.I.), Acta Herpetologica publishes original works – extended articles, short notes and book reviews – mostly in English, dealing with the biology and diversity of Amphibians and Reptiles.</p> </div> <p><br><strong>Editor in Chief</strong><br>Marco Mangiacotti, Università degli Studi di Pavia, Italy</p> Firenze University Press en-US Acta Herpetologica 1827-9635 <p>Authors retain the copyright and grant the journal right of first publication with the work simultaneously licensed under a <strong>Creative Commons Attribution 4.0 International Public License (<a href="">CC-BY-4.0</a>)</strong> that allows others to share the work with an acknowledgment of the work's authorship and initial publication.</p> <p><a href="" rel="license"><img src="" alt="Creative Commons License"></a><br>This work is licensed under a <a href="" rel="license">Creative Commons Attribution 4.0 International License</a></p> XI International Symposium on the Mediterranean Lacertid Lizards <p>None</p> Marco Mangiacotti Pietro Lo Cascio Claudia Corti Marta Biaggini Miguel Angel Carretero Petros Lymberakis Copyright (c) 2022 Marco Mangiacotti, Pietro Lo Cascio, Claudia Corti, Marta Biaggini, Miguel Angel Carretero, Petros Lymberakis 2022-04-29 2022-04-29 17 1 3 3 10.36253/a_h-13069 The directional testes asymmetry increases with temperature in seven plateau brown frog (Rana kukunoris) populations <p class="p1">Environmental stress is generally regarded as an important evolutionary force for promoting the differentiation of shape, structure and function of animal organs closely related to survival and reproduction. Geographical variation of temperature and corresponding change in intensity of male-male competition might drive inter-population differences in directional testes asymmetry (DTA). Here, we investigated inter-population variation in DTA of the brown frog (<em>Rana kukunoris</em>) at seven different altitudes on the eastern Tibetan Plateau. We found that the size of right testes increased with temperature, but not left testes. We also found that male age, body mass or body condition, and testis mass had not effect on DTA, suggesting that heavier or older <em>R. kukunoris</em> males or those with larger testes had not stronger DTA. The operational sex ratio did not affect DTA, but there was a positive correlation between DTA and temperature, suggesting that differences in the length of activity period and resources availability across locations may affect the energy budget of this frog, resulting in a gradual change in reproduction energy parallel to increasing temperature.</p> Hai Ying Li Man Jun Shang Jie Guo Bo Jun Chen Peng Zhen Chen Tong Lei Yu Copyright (c) 2022 Hai Ying Li, Man Jun Shang, Jie Guo, Bo Jun Chen, Peng Zhen Chen, Tong Lei Yu 2022-04-29 2022-04-29 17 1 5 11 10.36253/a_h-12187 Influence of tail injury on the development of Neotropical elegant treefrog tadpoles <p class="p1">Anuran larvae in aquatic environments are important prey items for several vertebrate and invertebrate species. Besides avoiding predation, there are some strategies that may reduce the physical damage in those tadpoles that survive the predation attempt. For example, the injured tadpole tail can regrow after a predator bite, but few studies have examined the consequences of such injury. We examined the consequences of three levels of injury to the tail and how this influenced development and feeding behavior of tadpoles of the Neotropical elegant treefrog, <em>Dendropsophus elegans</em>. We collected spawns and kept them in the laboratory until tadpoles reached Gosner’s stages 28 to 35. Then, they were separated in four experimental groups: individuals with tail trimmed in 30, 50 or 70 % of its length, and a control group, with no tail removing. We counted the days until metamorphosis, calculated the Scaled Mass Index (SMI) through weight and length of newly-metamorphosed, and evaluated the feeding frequency to evaluate the influence of tail amputation on them. We found that the time until metamorphosis was positively related to the extent of the amputation, but SMI and feeding behavior were not influenced. As the time to metamorphose is related to the survivorship chances of individuals: i.e., if the aquatic environment is with high density of predators, it would be advantageous to rapidly metamorphose out of the water. However, tail injury delays the metamorphose process, which could influence the survival of the individual.</p> Ana Glaucia da Silva Martins Raoni Rebouças Isaias Santos Adão Henrique Rosa Domingos Luís Felipe Toledo Copyright (c) 2022 Ana Glaucia da Silva Martins, Raoni Rebouças, Isaias Santos, Adão Henrique Rosa Domingos, Luís Felipe Toledo 2022-04-28 2022-04-28 17 1 13 20 10.36253/a_h-11453 The effect of weight and prey species on gut passage time in an endemic gecko Quedenfeldtia moerens (Chabanaud, 1916) from Morocco <p class="p1">Gut passage time (GPT), a key factor in digestive procedure, is of pivotal importance for digestion. Several parameters may affect GPT, such as temperature, length of gastrointestinal tract and body size. Here, we examine the influence of prey weight and prey species on GPT in the endemic diurnal gecko <em>Quedenfeldtia moerens,</em> from the Anti-Atlas Mountains in central Morocco. We used two prey species, house crickets (<em>Acheta domesticus</em>, AD) and mealworms (<em>Tenebrio molitor, </em>TM). Lizards were fed with the larval stage of TM and nymphs of AD. The influence of prey weight and prey species was tested at a constant temperature. We used three weight classes of each prey species to test the influence of prey weight on GPT. Our results showed that prey species affected GPT in a distinct way: mealworms induced a longer gut passage time compared to house crickets. Moreover, GPT increased with the increasing weight of prey for both prey species<em>. </em>Our finding demonstrates that the effect of prey species and prey weight affect digestion and thus should be better clarified in future studies.<span class="Apple-converted-space">&nbsp;</span></p> Jalal Mouadi Panayiotis Pafilis Abderrafea Elbahi Zahra Okba Hassan ElOuizgani El Hassan El Mouden Mohamed Aourir Copyright (c) 2022 Jalal Mouadi, Panayiotis Pafilis, Abderrafea Elbahi, Zahra Okba, Hassan ElOuizgani, El Hassan El Mouden, Mohamed Aourir 2022-04-29 2022-04-29 17 1 21 26 10.36253/a_h-12326 A contribution to the knowledge on the diet and food preferences of Darevskia praticola (Reptilia: Lacertidae) <p class="p1">The Meadow lizard (<em>Darevskia praticola</em> s.l.) is one of the more poorly-studied lizard species in Europe, and no detailed data on its diet is available. We investigated a total of 180 faecal samples of <em>D. praticola </em>s.l. from two locations in Bulgaria, and conducted a comparison between sex and age groups (adult males, adult females, and immatures). In addition, the correlations between the consumed prey and the available resources were also analysed. Food selectivity was analysed by comparing the faecal samples with pit-fall trap samples on the basis of abundance of prey items from particular operational taxonomic units (OTUs). Results indicate that the diet of the Meadow lizard contains mainly arthropods (insects and spiders) and the most abundant prey items belong to Araneae, Auchenorrhyncha, and Coleoptera. According to the used electivity indices none of the OTUs are highly preferred by <em>D. praticola</em> s.l., but Formicidae are the most avoided OTU for all sex/age groups. Differences in food preferences can be found between adults and immatures, while differences among males and females seem to be insignificant. The lack of clear differentiation between males and females could be a result of their similar size and locomotor ability. In conclusion, our results reveal that <em>Darevskia praticola</em> s.l. is a generalist and it shows no food specialization due to its narrow spatial niche.</p> Emiliya Vacheva Borislav Naumov Copyright (c) 2022 Emiliya Vacheva, Borislav Naumov 2022-04-29 2022-04-29 17 1 27 36 10.36253/a_h-12179 First report on two loggerhead turtle (Caretta caretta) nests in the Aeolian Archipelago (Southern Italy) <p class="p1">The Aeolian Archipelago (Southern Tyrrhenian Sea, Italy) hosts important foraging/overwintering habitats for Mediterranean loggerhead sea turtles (<em>Caretta caretta</em>), although nesting sites have never been documented. This study reports the data of two nesting events occurred in summer 2019 at Stromboli and Lipari islands. A hatchling success of 20.69 % (18 hatchlings from 87 eggs) was recorded at Stromboli, while a complete hatchling unsuccess characterised the Lipari nest, where 111 eggs were deposited. Data acquired during the monitoring of the nests suggest that combined factors, mainly temperature, beach morphology, and sand composition, could be the causes for the low success of these nesting events.</p> Monica Francesca Blasi Sandra Hochscheid Roberta Bardelli Chiara Bruno Carolina Melodia Perla Salzeri Paolo De Rosa Paolo Madonia Copyright (c) 2022 Monica Francesca Blasi, Sandra Hochscheid, Roberta Bardelli, Chiara Bruno, Carolina Melodia, Perla Salzeri, Paolo De Rosa, Paolo Madonia 2022-04-28 2022-04-28 17 1 37 43 10.36253/a_h-10188 Threatened and extinct amphibians and reptiles in Italian natural history collections are useful conservation tools <p class="p1">Natural history museums are irreplaceable tools to study and preserve the biological diversity around the globe and among the primary actors in the recognition of species and the logical repositories for their type specimens. In this paper we surveyed the consistency of the preserved specimens of amphibians and reptiles housed in the major Italian scientific collections, and verified the presence of threatened species according to the IUCN Red List, including the Extinct (EX), Extinct in the Wild (EW), Critically Endangered (CR), Endangered (EN), and Vulnerable (VU) categories. Altogether, we analyzed 39 Italian zoological collections. We confirmed the presence of one extinct reptile (<em>Chioninia coctei</em>) and five extinct or extinct in the wild amphibian species (<em>Atelopus longirostris, Nectophrynoides asperginis, Pseudophilautus</em> <em>leucorhinus, P. nasutus, </em>and <em>P. variabilis</em>)<em>. </em>Seven CR amphibians, fourteen CR reptile species and the extinct skink <em>C. coctei</em> are shared by more than one institution. Museums which host the highest number of threatened and extinct amphibian species are respectively Turin (17 CR and 1 EX), Florence (13 CR and 1 EX), and Trento (15 CR and 1 EW), while for reptiles the richest museums are those from Genoa (15 CR and 1 EX), Florence (11 CR and 1 EX), and Pisa (7 CR). Finally, we discussed the utility of natural history museums and the strategies to follow for the implementation of their functionality.</p> Franco Andreone Ivano Ansaloni Enrico Bellia Andrea Benocci Carlotta Betto Gabriella Bianchi Giovanni Boano Antonio Borzatti de Loewestern Rino Brancato Nicola Bressi Stefano Bulla Massimo Capula Vincenzo Caputo Barucchi Piero Carlino Umberto Chalvien Marta Coloberti Pierangelo Crucitti Maria Chiara Deflorian Giuliano Doria Simone Farina Valeria Franceschini Simona Guioli Roberta Improta Luca Lapini Leonardo Latella Giuseppe Manganelli Stefano Mazzotti Marta Meneghini Paola Nicolosi Annamaria Nistri Nicola Novarini Edoardo Razzetti Giovanni Repetto Roberta Salmaso Guido C. Salza Stefano Scali Giovanni Scillitani Andrea Sforzi Roberto Sindaco Gionata Stancher Marco Valle Giannantonio Zanata Santi Marco Alberto Luca Zuffi Giulia Tessa Copyright (c) 2022 Franco Andreone, Ivano Ansaloni, Enrico Bellia, Andrea Benocci, Carlotta Betto, Gabriella Bianchi, Giovanni Boano, Antonio Borzatti de Loewestern, Rino Brancato, Nicola Bressi, Stefano Bulla, Massimo Capula, Vincenzo Caputo Barucchi, Piero Carlino, Umberto Chalvien, Marta Coloberti, Pierangelo Crucitti, Maria Chiara Deflorian, Giuliano Doria, Simone Farina, Valeria Franceschini, Simona Guioli, Roberta Improta, Luca Lapini, Leonardo Latella, Giuseppe Manganelli, Stefano Mazzotti, Marta Meneghini, Paola Nicolosi, Annamaria Nistri, Nicola Novarini, Edoardo Razzetti, Giovanni Repetto, Roberta Salmaso, Guido C. Salza, Stefano Scali, Giovanni Scillitani, Andrea Sforzi, Roberto Sindaco, Gionata Stancher, Marco Valle, Giannantonio Zanata Santi, Marco Alberto Luca Zuffi, Giulia Tessa 2022-04-29 2022-04-29 17 1 45 58 10.36253/a_h-12349 Re-description of external morphology and factors affecting body and tail shape of the stone frog tadpoles <p class="p1">Ecological studies testing the preponderance of environmental filters on ontogeny to explain the variation in tadpole morphology are scarce for Neotropical anurans. We used tadpoles of the stone frog <em>Limnomedusa macroglossa</em> (Alsodidae): (1) to assess the variation in body and tail shape; (2) to examine the effect of streamlet depth and allometry on tadpole shape, and (3) to re-describe and compare the tadpole external morphology with closely related species. We obtained the body shape and size from 150 tadpoles. The re-description was based on 57 qualitative and 24 quantitative characters, from 19 tadpoles between stages 30 and 37 and 31 to 37, respectively. Allometry was the major factor influencing the lateral view of body shape: smaller tadpoles had round bodies and eyes and nostrils positioned more laterally in comparison with larger ones. Thus, the power of ontogenetic variations reported here makes the tadpole developmental “climax” period a questionable concept that deserves additional attention. The depth gradient of streamlets also affected the shape: in shallower environments, the tadpoles presented a decrease in height of the body, fins and tail muscles, and an increase in body width. These results may indicate adaptations allowing better swimming performance in lotic environments with intense water flow. The external morphological characterization of <em>L. macroglossa</em> presented here differed from that previously reported, mainly due to coloration, body shape, nostril, anal tube, tail, shape and position of nostrils and snout. Additionally, we presented unknown traits for this species, making comparisons with closely related species within the Alsodidae family.</p> Brena da Silva Gonçalves Carla D. Hendges Bruno Madalozzo Tiago G. Santos Copyright (c) 2022 Brena da Silva Gonçalves, Carla D. Hendges, Bruno Madalozzo, Tiago G. Santos 2022-05-14 2022-05-14 17 1 59 70 10.36253/a_h-11315 Preliminary data on the diet of Chalcides chalcides (Squamata: Scincidae) from Northern Italy <p class="p1">The diet in skinks is known mainly for extra-European species, especially from Australian ones, where these lizards are represented by a great number of species, while, in comparison, data for species from other continents are scarce. The three-toed skink, <em>Chalcides chalcides</em>, is found in a restricted part of northern Africa and in Italy, where it is distributed almost uniformly throughout the peninsula and on the major islands. Although it is well studied for aspects such as morphology and ecology, data concerning trophic preferences are scarce, and available only for the populations of south-central Italy. In this note we report preliminary data about the diet of an Apennine population of the three-toed skink, <em>Chalcides chalcides</em>, at the northern boundary of its distribution area. Faecal contents from 20 individuals were collected in June 2015, obtaining an overall sample of 48 prey items. Araneae constituted the most preyed taxon (over 40%), followed by Hemiptera (35,4%) and other prey taxa (Hymenoptera, Coleoptera, and Dermaptera) in much lower percentages. We found no differences between smaller/younger and larger/older individuals in consumed preys. As well as confirming the general trophic predilection of this skink for spiders, we also found some interesting differences in preyed items with studied populations of south-central Italy.</p> Andrea Ciracì Edoardo Razzetti Maurizio Pavesi Daniele Pellitteri-Rosa Copyright (c) 2022 Andrea Ciracì, Edoardo Razzetti, Maurizio Pavesi, Daniele Pellitteri-Rosa 2022-04-29 2022-04-29 17 1 71 76 10.36253/a_h-11386 The high diversity and phylogenetic signal of antipredator mechanisms of the horned frog species of Proceratophrys Miranda-Ribeiro, 1920 (Amphibia: Anura: Odontophrynidae) <p class="p1">Phylogenetic signals indicate the phenotypic similarity of antipredator mechanisms among related species. Herein, we assessed the antipredator mechanisms of the horned frog <em>Proceratophrys laticeps</em>, compiled a database including closely phylogenetically-related species, and evaluated their phylogenetic signals. Our dataset comprises 80 records for 13 species of <em>Proceratophrys</em>, totalizing 11 antipredator mechanisms and 15 variations of these mechanisms. Six antipredator mechanisms show high similarity in the trees’ roots within <em>Proceratophrys </em>(e.g., aggression, aposematism, camouflage, distress call, immobility, and interrupt calling). Our observations show the first records of antipredator mechanisms for <em>P. laticeps</em>, and the first report of interrupt calling for <em>Proceratophrys</em> genus, contributing to the knowledge on the behavioural ecology of <em>Proceratophrys</em> species, addressing new insights for ecological trait evolution by multiple ancestral states of amphibians.</p> Cássio Zocca Ricardo Lourenço-de-Moraes Felipe S. Campos Rodrigo B. Ferreira Copyright (c) 2022 Cássio Zocca, Ricardo Lourenço-de-Moraes, Felipe S. Campos, Rodrigo B. Ferreira 2022-05-02 2022-05-02 17 1 77 83 10.36253/a_h-11945